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the focus shifts to the senate. senate majority leader harry reid, minority leader mitch mcconnell will have to try to hammer out some sort of a compromise to avoid going over the cliff, but as you pointed out in your introduction, a lot of senators over the weekend expressed concern that, in fact, we will go over the fiscal cliff. of course, if is that happens, the economy could eventually slip back into recession. one interesting point, thomas, though, last time that members of congress worked between christmas and new year's was 1996. that was during the government shutdown. this is really a rare occurrence for members of congress to have to come back and work out legislation that they went able to get done before the christmas holiday. >> the president is supposed to stay there for how long? >> well, of course, the white house not really giving us specifics about the president's travel plans at this point in time. the reality is i think the president is himself trying to figure out what he is going to do, but we do expect that he will cut his vacation short. you've heard the president hi
, mitch mcconnell have made it clear, you want $1 trillion of more debt ceiling, because that's what the president is running, $1 trillion more debts, you have to cut it at the same time. they won it a year ago. they'll win it in the future. this is a long fight. it's four years of a fight. it's not one week of a fight. to your earlier question, does the president want to take us over the cliff? i think now he does. the reason is he needs an excuse for the next four years of failure. blaming it on bush doesn't work very much. the regulations and spending he's put on the economy for the next four years is going to put us in recession regardless of the fiscal cliff. >> to be fair, i'm told there are a number of republicans, especially in the house, who want to go over the cliff for the reason i explained, that they'd much rather vote for a tax cut than a tax increase because they don't want to break your pledge. grover, thank you very much. appreciate it. >> no one should break their pledge. >> merry christmas. thank you, grover. >> merry christmas to you. >> ahead on "starting point,"
. success depends partly on whether mitch mcconnell decides to filibuster any legislation. there is senate republicans who are willing to compromise in order to avoid the fiscal cliff. including kay bailey hutchison of texas and johnny isakson of georgia. >> time is running out. and the truth of the matter is, if we do fall off the cliff after the president's maturitied, he'll come back, propose just what he proposed yesterday in leaving washington and we'll end up adopting it. why should we put the markets mn such turmoil and the people in misunderstanding or lack of confidence? why don't we go ahead and act now? >> the president is insisting tacks go up for the wealthy, but he's now scaled back his expectations for the rest of the year focusing only on a middle class tax cut and extended unemployment benefits. he said he still thinks some kind of deal can be reached, but that optimism is not shared by everyone. >> in the aftermath of the house republicans rejecting speaker boehner's so-called plan b, it's the first time that i feel it's more likely that we will go over the cliff than not
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